[Update] September: The “Sweet Spot” for Affordable European Travel

Experts Weigh In on the “Trump Travel Effect,” Offer Savings Tips

June 22, 2017, NEW YORK – Advance bookings for summer travel this year are down 3.4 percent overall and 20 percent for bookings from the Middle East according to a report Tuesday by the New York Times.

According to MGM Resorts International CEO James Murren, the chilling words of Trump’s travel ban have the potential to put a freeze on the $250-billion US Travel and Tourism industry.

“Travel and Tourism is our most important export,” Murren said. “It’s really critical to understand that people coming to the United States, spending their money here, helping middle class jobs, improving our economy, is really critical. And [the travel ban] is counter to letting this country grow.”

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg stock index for US-based airlines has risen 6.5 percent and many major US airlines plan to increase international service at the end of 2017, indicating that American demand for summer travel abroad is continues to rise.

Some experts project that Trump’s travel ban will not only hurt the US Travel and Tourism Industry, it will also contribute to rising costs for travel in the European Union.

Additionally, overall demand for European travel is expected to grow in 2017 which will add to the effect.

Travel Now, Spend Less: Hit the Sweet Spot

If demand for US travel continues to decline, Europe and the rest of the world will pick up the slack. Naturally, this will lead to higher travel costs.

Therefore, now is the time to put some mileage on your passport, before Trump’s travel ban makes prices soar.

To help counteract the “Trump Travel effect,” coupon and savings portal Couponbox offers the following top seven cities for affordable end-of-summer travel in Europe.

The sweet spot for affordable European Travel is September 16th to the 23rd, according to Couponbox research. Book now for that time period and save big on flights and hotels.

Top 7 Cities for Affordable End-of-Summer Travel in Europe 2017

As you know from our previous articles on travel, one of the most important rules of finding the cheapest flights is…

Book in advance!

That’s how we found these end-of-summer deals* on Kayak.com.

Get them now before they run out!

*Hotel prices are per night for seven nights for two in a three-star hotel (or better) with free breakfast and internet in the city center. Flight prices are per person, round-trip from NYC.

All prices are updated regularly and subject to availability.

[The update below is from June 28, 2017]

For the latest updates click here

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos Ocean View

Best hotel: $103.00⇑

Best summer flight, 9/10-9/17 (one stop): $639.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,999.00 (⇑ $294 from $1,705)


Berlin, Germany

Berlin Reichstag

Best hotel: $52.00⇓

Best summer flight, 9/23-9/30 (one stop): $510.00⇓

Total cost for trip two: $1,384.00 (⇓ $307 from $1,691)


Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon by Night

Best hotel: $71.00⇒

Best summer flight, 9/19-9/26 (one stop): $514.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,525.00 (⇒ $2 from $1,523)


Valencia, Spain

Lake in Valencia

Best hotel: $58.00⇒

Best summer flight, 9/20-9/27 (one stop): $483.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,372.00 (⇒ $2 from $1,370)


Krakow, Poland

Krakow Street

Best hotel: $54.00⇒

Best summer flight, 9/17-9/24 (one stop): $596.00⇑

Total cost for trip two: $1,570.00 (⇑ $233 from $1,337)


Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Bridges Sunset

Best hotel: $24.00⇓

Best summer flight, 9/13-7/20 (one stop): $508.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,184.00 (⇓ $98 from $1,282)


Budapest, Hungary

Budapest River Daytime

Best hotel: $22.00⇓

Best summer flight, 9/20-9/27 (one stop): $504.00⇓

Total cost for trip two: $1,162.00 (⇓ $79 from 1,241.00)



Mother’s Days Around the World 2017/2018

March 31, 2017: According to research conducted by Couponbox.com, Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world on 32 separate dates each year.

That’s only 8.77 percent of the year, although most people only celebrate Mother’s Day once.

Considering that mothers work non-stop for their families 365 days a year, that doesn’t seem right.

For this reason, Couponbox has created an international calendar featuring Mother’s Day dates in 161 sovereign nations around the world alongside facts and figures about the holiday.

We hope that the calendar inspires Mother’s Day shoppers to celebrate the mothers in their life every day, not just once per year.

Mother's Day Around The World
Mothers Day Calendar

Students and Schools Across the Country Awarded for Kindness

Kid Kindness

Couponbox Announces Kid Kindness Month Contest Winners

Febraury 20, 2017: Couponbox announced three winners today for its First Annual Kid Kindness Month Contest. The international coupon portal created the contest for elementary and secondary school students to win $1,000 to implement their kindness project and an additional $1,000 to support their sponsoring school or organization.

Three projects and schools won prizes for the 2017 Kid Kindness Month Contest:

Help St. Jude’s Children, a project submitted by Lily Caraballo, Abigail Gniech, Nisa Cabrera, Emily Míreles and Marisol Lopez from Namaste Charter High School in Chicago, IL, will donate books, toys and hot meals to the families and children of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

2017 Service Project (for the Canton Fire Department), submitted by Caden Koehn from Canton High School in Canton, OK, will help the fire department during the high fire danger days of summer by providing supplies to the volunteer firefighters.

You Can Be a Problem Solver or You Can Be a Problem Causer (for the Flint Michigan Water Crisis), submitted by Katie Rusinek from Holy Family Catholic School in Grand Blanc, MI, will donate their prize to the Safe Water, Safe Homes Fund, which provides aid to the community of Flint, MI, during the ongoing water crisis there.

“We were overwhelmed by the acts of kindness the kids outlined in their entries,” said Marco Piu of Couponbox. “When the contest first started, we had high expectations, but as the deadline for entries drew near, we found that those expectations had been exceeded. We are grateful for all the entries, which were quite inspiring, and we are even more grateful that the voting system was in place to choose the winners—a task that would have been difficult for any panel of judges.”

“We look forward very much to next year’s contest,” added Piu, “which we hope will get even more entries and will reach an even wider audience, spreading kindness from coast to coast.”

Kid Kindness Month prizes from Couponbox will be awarded to the winning entries via 10x digital, the digital marketing agency which helped promote the contest. The agency itself will also award the fourth-place entry, Frank Zwolinski’s Home Orphanage in Peru, with a $500 prize as a part of its own Kid Kindness Month Honorable Mention Award.

About the Kid Kindness Month Contest

Couponbox sponsored the Kid Kindness Month Contest to inspire and recognize acts of kindness by our next generation. To enter the Kid Kindness Month Contest, kids aged 7-13 who live in the US submitted an entry—with video, text and/or photos—describing how they would spend $1,000 to spread kindness or help a group of people or cause. Kids were able to submit individually, as a group or as a class with a sponsoring organization such as a school or religious group.

About Couponbox
Couponbox is an international online discount company that creates shopping experiences with added value, helping shoppers save money by providing coupons and deals for stores such as Michaels, JCPenney and Kohl’s.

Spring break beach

The ultimate Spring Break budget guide: Where to stay, eat and drink for less

‘Home’ is America’s third most popular Spring Break destination

Money saving website Couponbox.com has conducted research to discover the 5 most popular spring break destinations and the best low cost places to stay, eat and drink.

The survey asked 400 American’s across the country where their favorite place to vacation across the Americas is over spring break. Surprisingly, staying right at home came in as the third most popular place to spend spring break. The research also found that 14 – 17 year olds go on spring break to relax, while 18 – 34 year olds take their break to enjoy the beaches. Here are the five most popular places to go for spring break:


  1. Miami Beach, Florida

The most popular place to take spring break is Miami, Florida. Whether South Beach, Fort Lauderdale or Panama City, Florida overall won the popular vote amongst those surveyed by a long way.

So how much does it cost to vacay in Miami? We’ve dug out some great deals on places to stay this year.

Stay here: Alden Hotel, $683 for 7 nights from Fri 3rd – 10th March 2017

Eat here: The Social Club, best American dining in Miami for around $12 a dish

Drink here: Bocce Bar has cocktail happy hour every day from 4 – 7pm

Average price of 2* hotel: $185 per night

Average price of 3* hotel: $207 per night


  1. Cancun, Mexico

Cancun in Mexico comes in second as the most popular Spring Break destination across the United States. It’s beautiful beaches, incredible food and affordable prices make it a popular destination. We’ve had a look at the best spots to make the most of your stay:

Stay here: Adhara Hacienda Cancun, $580 for 7 nights from Fri 3rd – 10th March 2017

Eat here: Los Arcos, an iconic and affordable downtown restaurant, tacos from $3

Drink here: Viento Bar and Grill, have a great happy hour from 3 – 4pm at their swim-up bar

Average price of 2* hotel: $172 per night

Average price of 3* hotel: $259 per night


  1. Home

Perhaps surprisingly, the third most popular place to spend Spring Break is right at home. Instead of planning and paying for a trip, savvy American’s opt to stay in their own habitat to enjoy some downtime. We’ve still got some great tips for those planning to spend the break in their own backyard.

Buy this: Giant inflatable pool for the whole family from $44.95

Eat this: Use Grubhub to order your favorite food straight to your home

Drink this: Premium beer home brewing kit – because it wouldn’t be spring break without bad beer


  1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

With over 60 miles of gorgeous beaches with sparkling blue water and white sand, it’s little surprise that this affordable coast city in South Carolina is the 4th most popular spring break destination for American’s. Here’s the low down on the top spots for your visit:

Stay here: Westgate Myrtle Beach Resort, from $672 for 7 nights from Fri 3rd – 10th March 2017

Eat here: Sea Blue Restaurant, the best seafood in town for around $15 for a main

Drink here: The Market Common has happy hour from 4 – 7pm daily

Average price of 2* hotel: $94 per night

Average price of 3* hotel: $108 per night


  1. San Diego, California

Over the last 5 years San Diego’s gorgeous beaches, excellent night life and culinary delights has made it an up and coming hotspot for spring breakers. We’ve dug out the best and most affordable spots in the city:

Stay here: AirBnB has some incredible deals with entire apartments from $444 for 7 nights from Fri 3rd – 10th March 2017

Eat here: Phil’s BBQ has the best selection of classic American eats for about $12 a main

Drink here: The Lion’s Share has a great happy hour from 4 – 6pm daily

Average price of 2* hotel: $211 per night

Average price of 3* hotel: $245 per night


We’ve got loads of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons for those of you who are staying at home and want to indulge yourselves.



How to Choose a Gift According to Science

5 Proven Ways Not to Screw Up Your Next Gift

January 16, 2017: According to a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, we’ve all got gift-giving backwards. The research claims that we tend to give gifts that are more pleasurable for givers to give, rather than to give gifts that are pleasurable for the recipient to receive.

The study states that givers want to impress the recipient at the moment of giving. This is probably even more true on holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, when wowing with gifts are the norm. According to the study, gift recipients want to receive things that “provide value over time,” which is in direct opposition to the instincts of gift givers.

Naturally, in gift-giving, the focus should be on the recipient, since the gift is intended for them and not for the giver. However, this doesn’t change the fact that gift givers want to enjoy the feeling of giving a wildly stunning gift that lights up the face of the recipient, especially on birthdays and Valentine’s Day.

So what kind of gifts can make both the giver and the receiver happy on holidays, birthdays and all year round? To answer that question, Couponbox put together the following list of tips on how to give the right gift…

…according to science.

#1. Educational Gifts

Almost everyone wants to improve their lives, and education is one of the best ways to do that. If the best gifts are those that provide value over long periods of time, then there is likely no better gift than those that educate. Some popular educational gifts include the following:

  1. Language Lessons – Learning a new language is a surefire way to improve your life, including improving your relationships and career.
  2. Career-building Courses – Speaking of improving careers, if you know the career goals of your gift’s recipient (and you should), enrolling them in a certificate program or online course that will enhance their career or job prospects is the gift that keeps on giving.

#2. Experiential Gifts

According to the recommendations of the Tepper School of Business researchers, experiential gifts are among those that provide the most long-term value. We suggest the possibly life-altering and unforgettable options below.

  1. Nature Tours – There is nature and then there is Nature. A visit to natural sites like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and the Redwood National Park can create memories that will last forever, making for gifts with truly long-term value.
  2. Skydiving – Jumping out of a tiny plane at 10,000 feet will surely be the among the highlights of one’s life, whether you find it exhilarating or nauseating. Get this gift for anyone, and they will never forget it (or you).
  3. Rock Climbing – Nothing says “I love you” like dangling from a precipice by a rope.

#3. Utilitarian Gifts

As the study mentions quite clearly, gifts such as a vacuum cleaner will be well used by and be of long-term value to recipients. But that doesn’t mean we should give everyone a vacuum cleaner. Choose a utilitarian gift according to your recipient’s hobbies, interests and lifestyle, and you’ll be sure to make them happy over the long haul.

  1. Cookware – For the budding or seasoned chefs (pun intended) in your life, choosing valuable gifts for the kitchen is easy. Simply check out their drawers while they’re not looking and get them whatever’s missing.
  2. Home Furnishings – Everyone can use a lifestyle upgrade every now and then. Instead of getting basic home furnishings as gifts like candles or picture frames, give your loved one something more substantial. Give the gift of space with new wall shelves or a standing bookshelf to help them organize their homes and their lives.
  3. Automotive Care – Your car-owning friends and family will love and remember you forever if you get them gifts like a year’s worth of car washes or an EZ-Pass subscription.

#4. Health- and Nutrition-based Gifts

Whether you are a health nut in January as a part of a New Year’s resolution or have health concerns that you must address year round, health- and nutrition-based gifts can provide long-term value for your mind, body and spirit. Try some of these:

  1. Fitness Apparel and Gadgets Wearables are all the rage, as we’ve noted in our own research. Not only do they help keep track of your fitness and health, they can also be quite stylish as accessories and make for great gifts with long-term value.
  2. Personal Trainer – Sometimes we need a bit of external motivation to help keep us in shape. Why not get your health-conscious gift recipient a year’s contract with a personal trainer? Who doesn’t want to wake up at 6am for a run and with a personal trainer who pushes them to go the extra mile? Access to a personal trainer for a year will not only provide long-term value as a gift on its own, but it will also provide value long after the personal trainer leaves by building healthy habits.
  3. Yoga Membership – The health benefits of staying flexible are numerous, and nothing develops flexibility quite like Yoga. A year-long Yoga membership’s value as a gift is two-fold. First, regular access to a Yoga studio can motivate you to keep stretching. Second, after a year of Yoga, your gift recipient will likely have the Yoga poses memorized so that they can do them at home for free. And there’s nothing better than free Yoga!

Of course, everyone has different tastes, so the suggestions above may not work for everyone, but the principal is the same. The most important element in gift-giving is knowing the recipient. That being said, the final gift category on this list is practically universal. It’s almost 99 percent certain that your gift recipient will love…


Which brings us to number five:

#5. Chocolate Gifts

Although chocolate doesn’t give much long-term value (unless one of your long-term goals is to put on a few extra pounds), recent research by Couponbox.com shows that Americans spend approximately $21 billion yearly on chocolate and weigh in at number five worldwide for yearly per capita consumption with 12.5 pounds.

Additionally, according to a Couponbox survey, 32.7 percent of Americans associate Valentine’s Day with chocolate, beating out both Easter and Christmas.

However, your chocolate gift doesn’t have to be a box of that brown, bittersweet goodness. Keeping in line with the Carnegie Mellon University research, you can give educational, experiential and even health- and fitness-related chocolate gifts that provide more value over time than a mere box of chocolates.

  1. Chocolate Factory Tour – Couponbox research shows that Hershey’s is the market leader of chocolate manufacturers in the US with 44 percent. Their “Hershey’s Chocolate World” attraction in Hershey, PA is a great gift to give the chocolate lovers in your life.
  2. Cocoa Plantation Visit – For your more adventurous chocolate lovers, you can buy them a trip to one of the world’s top cocoa bean producing countries, Ivory Coast and Ghana. A visit to one of the many cocoa bean farms in those countries would be eye-opening and memorable.
  3. Sugar-free Chocolate – For the health-conscious chocolate lovers out there, there are plenty of options to sate their desire for tasty morsels of cocoa. Russel Stover, one of the top 5 US Chocolate Manufacturers, is the biggest producer of sugar-free chocolate, perfect for anyone watching their figure.

If a chocolate gift is your thing any time this year, be sure to share this article and our beautiful and informative chocolate infographic:

Chocolate for Valentine's Day

To embed the infographic above on your website simply copy and paste the code below:

<p><img src="https://www.couponbox.com/press/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/chocolate-industry-survey-valentines-day.png" title="Chocolate Industry Stats by Couponbox" /></p><p><a href="https://www.couponbox.com/press/gift-giving-according-to-science/">Chocolate Industry Stats by Couponbox</a></p>

Educational Toys Low on Kids’ Wish Lists This Year

Survey results show that most popular toys are dolls and electronics

December 13, 2016: We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas!

The melody is going through your head right now.

For most of us, the Christmas holiday season is a time for family, memories and being with the ones you love.

But for our kids, it’s all about the presents. Finding the right gifts can be hard for some parents and difficult for others, which is why we decided to investigate the matter.

As was the case in 2015, this year we conducted a survey of more than 1,000 parents to find out what their kids wanted the most for Christmas this year. However, this year we did it a little differently.

The survey was conducted during the first three days of December, and asked participants the question, “What is the toy that your kids want most this Christmas?” Respondents were given the freedom to choose any product. The twist this year is that we categorized the results for an extra level of analysis. The results were both interesting, surprising and occasionally funny.

What Is the Most Popular Toy Category for Kids This Year?

According to the survey, the top three most popular categories of toys are the following:

Dolls, Stuffed Animals and Action Figures – 19.3 percent
Electronics – 14.5 percent
Video Games – 11 percent

Top Toy Categories Christmas 2016

However, there was one response that was more popular than any of those, and it was some version of “My kids haven’t decided yet,” which accounted for 23.8 percent of answers.

Unfortunately, among the least popular toys were the more practical and educational categories. The Art Supplies, Musical Equipment and Kitchen and Books categories barely cracked the top ten and accounted for less than three percent of responses.

The general Educational category did not even break into the top ten with 2.7 percent of responses at position number eight, oddly beating out Pokémon and Disney, both of which have their own category.

What Is the Most Popular Toy in Each Category?

Within each category of toys, there is usually one that sticks out. This year, some new toys made an appearance on the list, but for the most part it was the usual suspects.

In the “Dolls” category, the most popular toy was Lego Friends (21.9 percent), followed by Barbie (10.2 percent) and Elmo (9.7 percent), all perennial favorites.

The iPad (14.3 percent) and iPhone (10.2 percent) together dominated the Electronics category, followed by Beats Headphones (11.6 percent) and Drones (8.8 percent).

Playstation (30.4 percent), mostly the PS4, won the Video Game category, and Xbox One (16.9 percent) took second place, followed by Nintendo (8.1) percent and Wii (7.1 percent).

Top Toys Christmas 2016

These results were similar to last year’s survey that had the iPhone and iPad in first place with six percent Playstation 4 in second place with 5.2 percent and Legos with 4.9 percent.

What Are the Most Popular Educational Toys?

As mentioned above, the Educational toy category barely got three percent of the vote. However, the clear winners of the category are Dora and Dash & Dot.

As a matter of fact, they dominated the Educational category. The well-established Dora received 59.7 percent of the vote and the newcomers Dash & Dot received 38.3 percent.

Unfortunately, educational toys are low on our kids’ Christmas wish lists this year. However, this might be the result of the way we buy toys for our children rather than an indication of their interests.

According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, most gift givers try to give gifts that amaze and “wow” their recipients. Such gifts are considered failures by the study, which suggests that gift recipients prefer gifts that they will be able to use or enjoy long after the moment of giving.

Jenn Choi, a parenting expert from toysaretools.com, agrees. “There is no shame in trying to amaze and astonish when kids open their gifts,” she wrote in an article on quartz.com. “But if we want to turn our toy purchases into educational investments, then we need to get involved and stay involved. We have to play with them. It’s as simple as that.”

For parents who do want to get more involved in their children’s education, this is good news. According to the sources above, it is a simple matter of changing our toy- and gift-giving habits.

Not All Kids Want Toys – the Socks and Shoes Effect

Although apparel is not strictly a toy, approximately two percent of respondents stated that their kids have clothing on their Christmas wish lists this year. Interestingly, socks and shoes made up about 36 percent of those responses.

To put that into perspective, cowgirl boots accounted for a mere four percent of the responses, suggesting that utilitarian gifts are indeed more popular than fun ones—that is, unless your child happens to work in the rodeo.

For tips on how to engage your child in reading and other educational pursuits, visit the Couponbox blog.

Also, get the best deals and discounts on books and educational toys on Couponbox.com from your favorite shops like Amazon and Scholastic.

Chocolate Holiday Shopping Survey 2016

Survey reveals America’s most popular chocolate holidays

November 30th 2016: According to the survey by Couponbox.com, Halloween is the most popular holiday to shop for chocolate, although more people actually associate the bittersweet treat with Valentine’s Day.

The holiday of love took second place to Halloween, with Christmas and Easter bringing up the rear in third and fourth place. Regardless of the holiday, shopping for chocolate is easy (and tasty) and you can find it everywhere from Target stores to Amazon online. Getting deals and discounts on chocolate is even easier.

Holiday Survey: Who’s Buying Chocolate and When?

37.3 percent of survey respondents stated that they go shopping for chocolate more on Halloween than on any other holiday, but 32.7 percent of those same respondents associate chocolate with Valentine’s Day more than any other holiday.

25.8 percent of respondents stated that they shop for chocolate more for Valentine’s Day than other holidays, putting it at second place. Christmas was in third place with 21.2 percent of respondents claiming they shop more for chocolate for St Nick’s big day. 15.7 percent of respondents said they shop more for chocolate for the Easter Bunny’s spring festivities.

Men Vs. Women

Halloween was an equally popular chocolate shopping day among both men and women. However, 26.5 percent of men claimed to shop more for Valentine’s day than other holidays. A slightly lower percentage of women said the same, 25.5 percent.

Approximately 15 percent of both men and women said they shop more for chocolate for Easter, while 23.6 percent of women and 20.5 percent of men said that Christmas was their dominant holiday for chocolate shopping.

By Age

Age was not a big factor in respondents’ holiday chocolate shopping habits. Halloween had the number one spot and Valentine’s Day was in second place for most age groups.

For 55-64 year olds Christmas and Easter took second and third place respectively, with Valentine’s Day coming in last. Christmas was in second place for 65+ year olds, with Easter coming in last.

The Bittersweet Chocolate Industry

In addition to the chocolate holiday shopping survey, Couponbox.com took it’s love of chocolate to a deeper level and explored the global route that brings us the bittersweet joy that we call chocolate.

It’s All About the Beans

With a global market valued at approximately $110 billion, the reach of the chocolate industry is immense. 5.5 million cocoa farmers harvest 3,890 metric tons of cocoa beans annually. It takes approximately 400 beans to produce a pound of manufactured chocolate.

The Path of the Cocoa Bean

The top five cocoa producing countries are (in tons of cocoa beans per year):

  • Ivory Coast – 1,796
  • Ghana – 740
  • Indonesia – 325
  • Ecuador – 250
  • Cameroon – 232

The daily income of farmers in Ivory Coast and Ghana is $0.50 and $0.84 respectively, both of which are below the poverty level.

Cocoa Bean to Cocoa Butter (and Powder)

Once the cocoa beans are sold by farmers to international exporters, they are then sold to cocoa processors who convert the beans into power and butter.

The top three global grinders are Barry Callebaut, ADM and Cargill, which are responsible for 2 million tons of cocoa processing each year collectively.

Cocoa Powder to Chocolate Bar

After the grinders have had their way with the cocoa beans, they sell their powder and butter to the chocolate manufacturers that we recognize as bringing the luscious brown stuff to us. The top five global manufacturers are (in tons of beans processed per year):

  • Mondeléz (USA) – 450,000
  • Nestlé (Switzerland) – 430,000
  • Mars (USA) – 390,000
  • Hershey’s (USA) – 200,000
  • Ferrero (Italy) – 120,000

Nationally within the US, the top five manufacturers are Hershey’s, Mars, Nestlé, Lindt and Russel Stover. Together, Hershey’s and Mars are responsible for almost 75 percent of the US chocolate market.

The chocolate industry is a perfect example of a global industry. Global exports total more than $25 billion per year, with the US exporting $1.6 billion of that sum.

Chocolate Factory to a Candy Store Near You

Once the chocolate leaves the chocolate factory, it is then sent to retailers around the world for sale to consumers. $21 billion worth of manufactured chocolate is sold each year in the US alone. That is the equivalent of 764,000 metric tons of cocoa beans.

The top five countries by per capita consumption per year in pounds of the good stuff are:

  • Switzerland – 19.4
  • Germany – 18.5
  • Russia – 16.1
  • UK – 15
  • US – 12.1

Chocolate Industry Infographic

With Chocolate Holiday Shopping Survey

To embed the infographic above on your website simply copy and paste the code below:

<p><img src="https://www.couponbox.com/press/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/chocolate-industry-survey.jpg" title="Chocolate Holiday Shopping Survey 2016" /></p><p><a href="https://www.couponbox.com/press/chocolate-holiday-survey/">Chocolate Holiday Shopping Survey 2016</a></p>

Great Coupon Deals: The Simple Secret

Retailer Survey Shows Coupons Can Increase Revenue by 40 Percent

November 24, 2016: According to a recent retailer survey by Couponbox.com, coupons have the potential to increase monthly revenue by approximately 40 percent.

The survey asked 49 randomly-selected online retailers to anonymously report their total regular sales and their total coupon sales for the last 30 days.

Based on their answers, Couponbox calculated that these retailers earned on average $29,435 per month in additional sales via coupons, which was a 40 percent of regular sales.

Multiply that monthly average by 12 months, and we can estimate that coupons have the potential to generate $350,000 in extra revenue per year.

The retailers in the survey were a random mix of small- to medium-sized operations where 14 percent earned more than $100,000 per month in regular online sales. 32 percent earned $10,000 or less.

The median average percentage of coupon sales to regular sales reported was 38 percent, with approximately 14 percent of respondents earning less than 30 percent in coupon sales and 34 percent earning more than 40 percent. In some cases, retailers nearly doubled their regular sales with coupon sales of more than 80 percent.

There are many ways businesses can use coupons to market their products, including platforms like Groupon. However, it can be difficult to decide exactly how to offer a great coupon deal so that it is beneficial to both your customers and your business.

Why Should Businesses Use Coupons?

Unfortunately, many businesses believe that offering coupons is a waste of money or can be damaging to a brand.

It’s true that coupons do come at a cost and have the potential to be used incorrectly. However, they are also an important sales and marketing tool.

In addition to increased sales and revenue, coupons can provide other benefits to businesses. These include reaching new customers, reducing unwanted stock, brand promotion and more.

At their core, coupons are essentially a form of advertising, a way to inform customers about your business and attract them to it.

What Is the All-Time Best Coupon and Why?

There are many types of coupons:

New Customers Only – redeemable by new customers only
Sitewide, All Products – applies to all products in an online store
Minimum Order Value – is redeemable for orders of a minimum value
Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) – also known as 2 for 1
Limited to Specific Customers –by geography, account status, subscription etc.
Category/Product Specific – applicable for specific products or product categories

Each one offers a benefit to both customers and businesses. But which coupon is the best in general?

To answer that question, the survey also asked retailers to vote on the all-time best coupon type and choose a reason why.

67.3 percent of respondents reported that the Sitewide, All Products, coupon type was the all-time best. 42 percent of those retailers cited maximizing sales as the reason for their vote.

This result is somewhat surprising since such a widely applicable coupon could be seen as cutting too much into profits. However, the Sitewide, All Products, coupon is the most convenient and attractive to customers, which may inspire customers to buy more.

According to Couponbox.com’s expert portal managers, when it comes to reducing the cost of a coupon, the discount amount is more important than type. As such, the survey asked retailers what was the ideal percentage discount for a coupon.

57 percent of respondents stated that the best discount range was between 10 and 20 percent. Of course, the ideal discount range for a coupon varies from company to company and depends on your profit margin, which is covered below.

How do you decide which coupon is right for your business?

Now that you’re convinced that coupons can be good for your business, you should know how to choose the right one.

#1. Know What Your Customers Want

One of the most important elements of a coupon is the real benefit it provides to your customers.

Consumers generally know what they want, and if they perceive your coupon as providing that, then it will likely be successful.

Conversely, if customers feel that a coupon is designed to manipulate them into buying something, they will consider it spammy and will possibly be turned off by the brand altogether.

Pro-tip: Avoid overly-promotional coupons.

#2. Know Your Business Goals

After figuring out what your customers want, you must then decide what your goals are.

Usually, coupons are used to increase sales, but there are many other business goals you can achieve using coupons. Each coupon type can be used for a different business goal. If you choose the wrong coupon or use it in the wrong way, this could negatively impact your business.

Survey respondents were asked to identify the coupons they thought were best for specific business goals.

46.9 percent of respondents stated that the Sitewide, All Products, coupon was the best type to maximize sales. 59.2 percent reported that the New Customers Only type was the best for increasing long-term revenue. 63.3 percent said the Category Specific coupon type was the best for launching or promoting a new product.

Best Coupon Type by Business Goal

Pro-tip: Define your goals clearly before implementing a coupon.

#3. Know Your Costs

There are several costs associated with coupons.

Many of these costs are variable and can differ from business to business. These costs can include printing, graphic design, marketing and advertising. Online coupons and coupon codes are great because they typically have a lower cost than print coupons.

Despite these differences, each coupon has a fixed cost in terms of lost profit depending on its discount amount.

Pro-tip: Know your profit margins!

Profit margin is one of the most important numbers to know about your business. Each product has its own profit margin and is calculated as follows:

(retail price – cost) ÷ (retail price)

So if a product costs you $50 to put on the shelf in your shop or warehouse, and you sell it for $100, your profit margin is ($100-$50) divided by ($100), which equals .50 or 50 percent.

Since every coupon cuts into profit margin, this is an important number to know when deciding on your coupon’s discount amount.

Determine how many extra sales you would need to maintain your profit level using the Couponbox.com “Cut Your Costs Calculator” here:


What Are the Cons of Coupons?

By now, the benefits of coupons should be quite clear. They have the potential to increase sales, reward customer loyalty and encourage impulse buys.

However, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of.

#1. Hurting Your Brand Image

One of the most often cited cons of coupons is that they have the potential to cheapen a brand’s image. While this may be true for luxury brands, most businesses that offer mid-range pricing do not have to worry about this. In fact, coupons are usually seen as generous, when they are implemented correctly.

How to avoid it: Follow the numbers. If your coupon discount is too high, it is more likely to make your brand look desperate. Start out with a healthy 10 percent discount or free shipping.

#2. Coupon Addiction

A slightly less understood con of coupons is coupon “addiction.” For example, if you constantly offer the same coupon at the end of every month, you run the risk of teaching your customer base to anticipate the deal and wait to buy.

How to avoid it: Vary everything. Keep your customers guessing so that they don’t become used to a coupon pattern. Try surprising them with various discount amounts, validity periods and eligible products.

#3. Revenue Cannibalization

Coupons also have the potential to cannibalize revenue. Revenue is considered to be cannibalized when customers who would have otherwise paid full price take advantage of coupons. Thus, the coupon is said to be eating into that revenue.

How to avoid it: This is where your business goals are extremely important. Be sure to choose coupons that target specific audiences, such as new or existing customers.

#4. Customer Alienation

Regular customers may feel alienated by brands who give discounts exclusively to new customers. This alienation could result in decreased sales, or worse, loss of customers.

How to avoid it: Again, here it is important to vary the coupons you offer so that you do not exclude an important part of your customer base.

Are you a small business interested in offering coupons? For more information about how to do so, just write to us by email, in the comments section below or message us on social media.

In the meantime, view and share the infographic below and check out how the top brands use coupons to achieve their business goals on Couponbox.com.

A guide for businesses

To embed the infographic above on your website simply copy and paste the code below:

<p><img src="https://www.couponbox.com/press/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/great-coupon-deals.jpg" title="Great Coupon Deals: The Simple Secret" /></p><p><a href="https://www.couponbox.com/press/great-coupon-deals/">Great Coupon Deals: The Simple Secret</a></p>


Cut Your Costs Coupon Calculator

By nature, coupons cut into profits. Therefore, you must increase your revenue to maintain that profit.

Use this calculator to learn how much more revenue you need to do so. The calculator can also work for coupons you implement from platforms like Groupon.

Note: This calculator assumes a 100 percent coupon redeem rate.


What Do You Want Most from Old St. Nick?

Travel Most Popular Item on Christmas Wish Lists

November 7, 2016: According to the Couponbox.com 2016 Holiday Shopping Survey, Travel is the most popular gift on Americans’ holiday wish lists this year.

28 percent of respondents want to see flights, hotels and road trips under the tree this year, ranking travel as the number one item people want for Christmas. That means that discounts from brands like Hotwire and Kayak.com will be even more valuable this year.

The number two and three spots in the ranking were clothing and electronics, each with 19 percent.

What do you want for Christmas?

What’s in Your Stocking? 2015 vs. 2016

The survey asked more than 1,300 Americans what they wanted most for Christmas and were provided with six categories to choose from:

New Car
New Significant Other

Compared to the 2015 survey results, the popularity of the Travel category on Christmas wish lists has gone up by three points this year, from 25 percent to 28 percent. The popularity of the clothing category increased by the same amount, going from 16 percent in 2015 to 19 percent this year.

However, there were no changes in the ranking order, with all six categories maintaining their positions, though they did fluctuate a bit individually from year to year.

Electronics remained steady from year to year at 19 percent. New Car stayed the same at 14 percent. New Significant Other increased from 9 percent in 2015 to 10 percent in 2016.

Men Vs Women

The survey revealed that the differences between men and women are not so great, though there was some variation. The top three gift categories most wanted by both men and women are Travel, Clothing and Electronics, with Electronics in second place for men and in third place for women.

24 percent of men want Electronics opposed to 13 percent of women. 22 percent of men want to receive travel-related gifts, while 35 percent of women want the same.

The survey also shows that this year more women want Travel than last year, while men want less. Clothing decreased in popularity for both sexes since last year. Electronics is up for men and down for women.

Who’s Shopping Online This Year?

The survey also asked each respondent whether they were more likely to shop online or more likely to shop in-store during this year’s holiday shopping season. The vast majority of both men and women surveyed reported being more likely to shop online.

However, men were slightly more likely at 75 percent to 73 percent of women. This represents an 11 percent increase for women since 2015 and a 17 percent increase for men.

View and share the full results of the survey using the infographic above and get coupons and deals on all your holiday gifts on Couponbox.com.

To embed the infographic above on your website simply copy and paste the code below:

<p><img src="https://www.couponbox.com/press/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/holiday-gift-wish-list.jpg" title="What Do You Want Most from Old St. Nick?" /></p><p><a href="https://www.couponbox.com/press/holiday-shopping-survey/">What Do You Want Most from Old St. Nick?</a></p>